February 21, 2017

QUESTION ASKED: Was ‘Weird Al’ the real star all along?

Yankovic has sold millions of albums, played 1,616 shows and outlasted so many of the stars he once spoofed. His most recent album, 2014’s “Mandatory Fun,” featured parodies of Iggy Azalea, Lorde and Pharrell Williams, a polka medley and his usual smattering of original songs. The album hit No. 1. At 57, he’s now readying a complete set of his 14 studio recordings, plus an album of bonus tracks. “Squeeze Box,” on sale through a PledgeMusic drive until the end of February, will naturally come in an accordion-shaped box. “Comedy recording and funny songs go back to the earliest days of the record industry,” says Barry Hansen, better known as Dr. Demento, the radio host who introduced Yankovic to the public 40 years ago. “But Al is unique. There’s nothing like him in the history of funny music.”

For Chris Hardwick — the comedian who created the Nerdist empire and hosts two game shows, [email protected] and “The Wall” — Yankovic is more than a musical success story. He’s a triumph for all the oddballs and outsiders.

I still remember all the words to “I Lost On Jeopardy,” but couldn’t tell you anything about the original Greg Kihn song other than the name.